The Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Chargers produced a real nail-biter on Sunday. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they came out on the losing end to mark their third straight loss of the new season.
The Vikings actually had a chance to escape with a win late in the game, but a costly Kirk Cousins interception sealed the deal for Minnesota.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Reacts to Botched Final Play
Cousins spoke to the media after the game, and in a rather surprising turn of events, the veteran QB revealed that the Vikings fans in attendance are pretty much to blame for the loss. Apparently, the crowd got so loud that Cousins couldn’t hear head coach Kevin O’Connell on his headset:
“Just couldn’t hear him with the noise,” Cousins said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “Just ended up calling a play, and the play I called was the same play he was trying to get to.”
Kevin O'Connell on the final play: "Looking back, I wish I would've clocked it and not tried to steal one there."
Kirk Cousins had some trouble hearing O'Connell in his headset and the play resulted in a game-ending interception. pic.twitter.com/dUkYI1CEU2
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) September 24, 2023
Minnesota supporters got a little bit too excited after their team converted a fourth-down late in the final quarter with LA ahead by just four points. They had a real chance to score from the six-yard line, but Cousins just couldn’t hear his coach’s instructions. The four-time Pro Bowler decided to call his own play, which ultimately, ended in disaster.
Cousins did take some of the blame, though. He acknowledged that it was his own decision and that he will just have to live with the loss:
“I mean I could do anything I want,” Cousins said. “I can do the quarterback sneak. I can do whatever I want, but at the same time you also have to deal with the consequences. Against Buffalo last year I snuck it on my own and didn’t get in, so until you know the future it’s hard to know whether to take the reins or not, but I’ve done it before.”
Kevin O’Connell Echoes Kirk Cousins’ Sentiments
For his part, Coach O’Connell had the same explanation after the game. He also pointed to the unmanageable crowd noise as the culprit to his inability to communicate with his quarterback during that crucial moment:
“Sometimes that happens,” O’Connell said. “It’s not always noticed when we’re in a normal two-minute mode.
Nevertheless, the Minnesota shot-caller also clarified that he too could have done a better job with that final play:
“My expectations are always sky-high for our group,” O’Connell said, “so I’m trying to steal one more play. But clearly with that much time going off the clock, even though I don’t think ultimately think time was the issue with the game ending the way it did, but certainly … that one was purely on me, trying to be too aggressive in that moment. Definitely looking back on it, just wish I would have clocked it. No matter the benefit we had going fast, the value was not received clearly with what that execution looked like in that moment.”
This is all now water under the bridge and unfortunately for Minnesota, they are now down bad at 0-3.